The Latest: LA Times gets union, loses publisher
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on changes at the Los Angeles Times (all times local):
Los Angeles Times Publisher and Chief Executive Ross Levinsohn has been given an unpaid leave of absence amid allegations that he engaged in improper “frat-boy” behavior while working for other companies.
The Times’ parent company, Chicago-based Tronc Inc., announced Friday that Levinsohn is stepping aside while the firm investigates allegations disclosed a day earlier. Times President Mickie Rosen will take over.
National Public Radio reported the allegations of crude conduct and said Levinsohn was a defendant in two sexual harassment lawsuits before he joined the Times as publisher in August. Some Times employees had called for Levinsohn to be fired.
Tronc didn’t indicate how long the investigation will take. But in an email to employees, Tronc CEO Justin Dearborn said the company won’t hesitate to “take further action, if appropriate, once the review is complete.”
Los Angeles Times journalists have voted to unionize for the first time in the paper’s 136-year history.
The National Labor Relations Board on Friday announced results of a Jan. 4 newsroom vote.
Reporters, copy editors and other workers voted 248 to 44 for representation by NewsGuild-Communications Workers of America.
The union will now begin negotiating for a contract with Times owner Tronc Inc.
Tronc, which also owns the Chicago Tribune, San Diego Union-Tribune and Orlando Sentinel, says it respects the outcome of the Times election and looks forward to what it calls “productive conversations with union leadership.”
The Times vote followed rising discontent with working conditions as the paper slashed jobs and struggled with declining advertising revenues and falling circulation in the face of online competition.